Working in collaboration with SMEs Intray Limited and Mexar Limited, CPI is co-developing wet media formulations to ramp up production of the Oli-Tec branded Time Temperature Indicator label.
TTIs have the potential to transform the food industry by providing real-time information on a product’s condition throughout its supply chain journey.
Existing sell-by, use-by and best before dates provide insufficient information and alerts to consumers on the shelf-life status and degradation of goods, leading to greater risk of health hazards and increased waste.
Intray has developed the underpinning proof-of-principle for an innovative, yet cost-effective, TTI label known as Oli-Tec. This TTI label responds to time and temperature using a green, amber and red traffic light system to highlight the condition of the goods, with the latter notifying consumers that their safety could be at risk.
Through the use of an amber-colored call-to-action function, it also has the potential to save greater amounts of waste by alerting consumers to the condition of the goods as they deteriorate.
CPI, from its position within the Government’s High Value Manufacturing Catapult program, is working alongside inkjet development company Mexar Limited to co-develop wet media formulations for various shelf-life timings, spread between 2 and 15 days.
Operating out of its state-of-the-art formulation facilities at NETPark in Sedgefield, County Durham, CPI is also working on developing the models for the timing mechanisms of the label.
Demonstration prototype labels will be generated, tested and evaluated, allowing Intray to carry out market trials ahead of a planned launch in 2020.
The 18-month project, backed by Innovate UK funding, is expected to help Intray leverage the UK’s formulation industry and strengthen manufacturing expertise by extending TTI use outside the food industry and into other areas, such as the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.
Such tailoring means Intray could potentially secure global licenses, delivering millions of pounds in export revenues and adding value to the UK economy.